If you are not a writer, you don’t like journaling, or any variation, I can totally understand…. Sorta, I am a writer, so for me words are life. But I want to talk to you about the importance of journaling, why you should at least have it as an option and some tips and tricks for you to get started and KEEP GOING with your journals.
Are you getting overwhelmed in the garden? Stressed? Or just not enjoying the garden like you used to? Check out our garden prompts! We send out weekly emails that get you back in the garden and out of your head! Turn the garden back into a place of love and joy instead of frustration and headache!
Importance Of Journaling
I cannot stress the importance of journaling to you any more than this: when I am at my lowest, my journals have saved me. This is both literal and figurative. I have always been a writer. My first love was books, a note pad, and pen and to this day, that really hasn’t changed. I have books and notebooks all over the house. Some notebooks have been written in, and others are just pretty. I have a favorite pen and a favorite brand (shout out to G2!).
And 100% of my books have at least flipped through….
That’s a lot of books. But I say all of this to say, journaling has saved my sanity, money and relationships. It has also given me a chance to be introspective and change habits I didn’t realize were hurting me or others. That is why journaling is so important.
How Journaling Has Saved Me
I didn’t have the best childhood growing up. But I had people who loved me and that was enough. My family are also huge readers, so the love of books came naturally. I remember sitting and reading on the couch for hours with my mom or aunt.
But I also loved to write. It didn’t matter if it was stories, journaling, or just making lists. I love/d watching that pen meet paper and see what was in my brain come out on paper.
The action of writing has helped pull me out of some dark places. Not necessarily because I was writing what I was feeling, but because it gives my brain a chance to rest while focusing on something else. It allows me to be present in a way that therapy just doesn’t do.
People who work with their hands are usually happier and more at peace than those who don’t. This is one of the better articles that I have found on the topic. There’s a great book that was mentioned in the article that I purchased and read and it has really helped because it put into words what I knew and what was working.
How Journaling Has Saved Me Money
While it may seem ridiculous because of the amount of money I have spent on journals, pens and books, journaling has helped me save a ton of money. I have homestead journals, garden journals, story journals, and, of course, my mental health journals. I pick up bullet journals when I like the patterns or colors. The link is currently my favorite sets. There’s also these really cool stencils that I LOVE!
Barnes and Noble and Books A Million are the worse places to take a bookworm who has access to the bank cards!
But journaling has saved me a ton of money because I am able to look back at my notes and see what we have done, what worked, what didn’t and make decisions based on that information. To give you a screaming example is the chickens.
I have spent thousands of dollars on poultry, which is ridiculous because they come from the hatchery at less than $5 each! In the four years that we have bought chickens, ducks and turkeys, we have spent close to $1500. That’s about 400 chickens, 50 ducks, and 25 turkeys, roughly. That doesn’t count the amount of money we have spent on feed, waterers, feeders, housing, fencing, etc.
I can tell you right now, we do not have that many creatures! We have butchered about 100 of those animals. The rest have died, wandered off, a predator took them, or some other thing. That is freaking insane.
But because I have my journals, I know exactly what I’ve spent, what we have done for predators, brooding, and other things to try and keep them alive. A couple of bullet journals at $10/each vs several thousand dollars in poultry? Yea, it’s saved me a ton of money.
How Journaling Has Saved My Relationships
My mental health hasn’t always been the greatest. Again, a not so great childhood, mixed with a really hard 20’s, and a career that takes WAY more than it gives back? It’s a recipe for disaster. But because I journal, I am able to look at times that are troubling and what I was writing about. Then I can start making changes because I can SEE the issues. Even if it’s at a later date.
It’s kind of like seeing your Facebook memories from like 10 or 15 years ago and you just cringe. Yea, that’s how journaling is! You can look back at that argument, or what you were feeling and go…. yea maybe you were in a bad place.
Because of this level of self reflection, you get the opportunity to be better. You get to make changes because you see what is “wrong” and can make it right without anyone telling you otherwise.
How Journaling Has Saved My Gardens
Y’all, I have about 10 years of garden journals. Each one starts on January 1 and ends on December 31st. Some of those journals don’t have much in them. Others take up multiple books. But they have saved my gardens. Because I can look at those journals and see how far I’ve come as a gardener. I can see all the varieties I’ve tried and which ones I really like, hated or just didn’t do well for me.
I can see my interventions for disease or pests. I can see what worked!
But the coolest part of my garden journals isn’t the day to day planning, planting, harvesting, etc. It’s actually the pure joy that comes through those pages. I can see the transition from the bad day to the pure excitement of finding honey bees in my gardens. I can see my crappy drawings of my first ever rose. Or the pressed sweet pea flower.
How To Start Journaling
Now that I’ve given you all my reasons about the importance of journaling. I want to talk to you about how to start your journaling journey. First and foremost, if typing out your journal is all you can do, then by all means, do you boo boo.
But if you are looking for healing affects, serotonin release and lowering of cortisol, get yourself a couple of journals that you like, a good pen and get to work.
Tips And Tricks
Intentions– When I am starting a new journal, I fill out the first page with my intentions for the journal. For example, in my garden journal, the very first page is for that year’s goals, intentions and plans. Technically, it takes up several pages and that’s ok.
Set A Timer– Well, first set an alarm specifically for journaling time and then set a timer. You only need about 10-15 minutes to journal. Sure, you can absolutely go longer, but when you are just starting out, 10-15 minutes is plenty of time.
Pick A Topic– Don’t set an unrealistic expectation that you are going to have a journal for every possible topic. Just pick one thing that you want to work on; gardens, mindfulness, frustrations, etc. Literally, anything can be a topic. Don’t worry about how “good” it is.
Don’t Sweat It– If you don’t journal today, that’s okay. Hit it tomorrow. If you only have 10 minutes while you sit with your coffee? Nail it. But if you can’t today, that’s okay too. We aren’t getting down on ourselves for not doing this. BUT don’t be so laid back that you forget to journal either.
The Hard Thing– One of the things that I think people need to understand is that you don’t have to write about a topic forever. There can be an end. I have found that when I write out something that is bothering me, I can release it easier. I have a couple journals that collect dust that are simply me writing about that hard thing or things that have been taking up WAY too much space in my brain. I don’t have to write about it for weeks or months. I let that stress vent by writing and then let it go. If that venting didn’t work, then I write about it again and again until whatever that hard thing is has passed.
Writers Block– If you have never journaled, maybe you don’t have anything pressing that you WANT to write about, or in my case, I’m not ready to write about that particular hard thing, pick a prompt service. This is not a plug for my journal prompts, but there are literally hundreds of services out there that have a variety of topics that you can journal with. I’ve got a garden journal prompt that is a monthly service that sends you weekly emails for topics you can write about. <—– THAT is the plug for my garden journal.
Subjects For Journaling
There are millions of things that you can write about to start your journaling journey. My favorites are:
- Healthy eating
- Dealing with emotions
- Healing from injury
- Stress management
- Trauma healing
- That THING you don’t want to talk about
- Tomato diaries
- Project journals
This list isn’t an end all, be all. You can journal about whatever you want, but these are some great topics to get you started if you don’t have any in mind.
The Importance Of Journaling
I hope I have covered all of the reasons that you should at lease consider journaling. Also, I hope I’ve given you some tips and tricks that are worth exploring. But mostly? I hope that whatever you decide to journal about, it heals you.
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Homesteading Journal Prompts
I am looking for beta testers for my new homestead journal prompts and would LOVE your help.
I am looking for about 10 testers who are homesteaders that have livestock, gardens, and other responsibilities that are looking to either start journaling or have been journaling for a while. I am offering these prompts for free, BUT there is a catch.
Each week I will send you 3 emails. The first will be the prompts for the week. The second will be a reminder and feedback. The third will be all feedback.
You MUST be willing to offer feedback in exchange for these emails.
If you are interested, please fill out the sign up form below!